(Editor's note: Miles Community College release)
MILES CITY -- The Miles Community College baseball team received votes in the preseason National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll. MCC received four points in the poll.
The Pioneers are fresh off a Mon-Dak Conference championship and trip to the Region XIII Tournament, and return a bevy of talent for the 2020 season. Players like Lewis Johnson, Cade Stuff and Kiran Carcary received quality playing time as freshmen last spring. Keith Manby posted an 8-2 record on the mound a year ago, with 102 strikeouts for head coach Jeff Brabant.
According to MCC, the incoming recruiting class was arguably the best in program history, leading to lofty expectations this season.
"It is always an honor to have national recognition whenever you get it. It says a lot about not only what we do in grinding day to day, but also that other voting members see our history and tradition. Let's face it, it is hard to poll the JUCO ranks with the yearly turnover," said Brabant.
"As for the team, I really like where we are at this point. I like our depth, I like our character, I like our skill set. A lot will be determined on how our mental game goes with our failures. If we can learn from our mistakes, grow, and mature, I wouldn't want to play us in May when it matters. We have a long way to go before we need to worry about peaking, and we are working hard right now in preparation for those days."
MCC returns to the field on Feb. 22 for two days of doubleheader action against Montana State's club team, with first pitches thrown at 1 p.m. each day. The Pioneers then travel to Tucson, Ariz. for 10 days of action. MCC will play 16 games in the Old Pueblo during the stretch.
Miles Community College returns to Montana for a road game at Dawson Community College on March 25, with the program's true home-opener coming against the Devils on Wednesday, April 1.
The preseason NJCAA Division II baseball poll can be found below. The first regular season poll of the year will be released on Feb. 10.
|Rank||College (1st Place Votes)||State||Record||Points||Prev|
|1||Northern Oklahoma Enid (4)||OK||0-0||134||-|
|2||LSU Eunice (3)||LA||0-0||126||-|
|9||Western Oklahoma State||OK||0-0||81||-|
|20||Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa||OK||0-0||15||-|
Others Receiving Votes
|Des Moines Area||IA||0-0||7.0||-|